Friday, November 24, 2006

Sacking the order

I have always wondered why this didn't happen sooner.

"Deep in the heartland of Uttar Pradesh... the priests are getting sacked.

Dalits have stopped depending on Brahmin priests for weddings, funerals and other ceremonies. Instead, they have turned to a Buddhism-inspired book which has rituals that can be performed by any literate person. The wide use of the Bhim Patra, named after Bhimrao Ambedkar, is part of a quiet rebellion against upper-caste domination.

"We have nothing to do with the Brahmin pandits," said Chhabi Lal of Ghunghter village, 45 km from Lucknow. "They tell us, 'Your parents died; so to make their souls happy, give us a bed and a cow as gifts.' As if it is all going to reach them."

For weddings, the bride and the groom light candles, exchange wedding vows and garlands. No dowry, no auspicious dates and times and as witness, a statue of a man you respect and venerate... finally!

Do read the report here.

(Update: Sorry, the link doesn't seem to work anymore, but the report appeared in Hindustan Times a few weeks ago)


Anonymous said...

Yes, finally! I'm so bloody glad. There is hope, after all! :)

Anonymous said...

ya, great thing. Finally!!!

editor said...

Read a comprehensive story on it earlier, probably in Tehelka. Was it Amitsen Gupta!

Anonymous said...

This makes me very happy, yet very sad. My father is a Hindu priest, and he isn't like those people at all. Maybe his views are different because he practices in the United States, but it still saddens me a great deal to see others do such things and take advantage of their positions. Great article, however.

Anonymous said...

Dalits are avoiding life time opportunity of attaining salvation ( moksha ,mukti) by refusing cow donations to priests.

Anonymous said...

Good post. I never understood the logic of pashu-daan either, and why it had to be restricted to brahmins (why not the poor, regardless of caste?) BTW in most cases now there is no pashu and its equivalent is considered to be a dhoti-set or something.

I was introduced to your blog from Dilip's link to your post on Women and the army, prefaced as fine journalism. Honestly my opinion on reading that was rather different and I chose not to continue this blog.

On a revisit, I now think I was hasty and he did you a disservice by linking to that particular post.


Anonymous said...

hmm... democratisation of rituals? that sort of takes the mickey out of organised religion doesn't it :)
annie.. bad idea to say this publicly.. but i've been going through your blog and i think i'm a little in love with you!!

Anonymous said...

weird annie but thought i will share this with you!
I cant sleep tonight. was returning from office today evening (with another frnd who had her bihari male frnd escorting her). our PGs are 5 kms from the office and the rick asked for 100 bucks. i as usual turned around and threatened to complain that his meter was not working and that he was charging an amount which was 3 times what i pay daily. before the driver could say anything, the bihari (i dont know what else to call him) turns around and says, "mere saamne auratein chote aadmi ke mooh lage mujhe nahi bhaata. abhi yeh aapse kuch ulta seedha keh de to mein isko maar daloonga, phir kya hoga. jo mujhe pasand nahi wo mujhe pasand nahi." i started walk. i dont know why but i am still fuming.

barbarindian said...

So, when will Muslims stop relying on Sharia and Fatwas and start firing Imams? Any idea?

Annie Zaidi said...

jerry, pawan: yeah, I'm glad too.
mynameisnobody: not quite sure whether you were being witty, or... what?
indscribe: have not seen that one. will try and dig it up.

jai: dilip did me no more a disservice by linking to that post than I did myself one by writing it. by the way, there's more where that came from, and you will probably see more such writing about women on this space. you might have a re-re-think coming.

vi: too bad not all priests understand their place in society. though, to be honest, i have learnt to be sceptical of the concept of priesthood. but here's hoping there are refreshing models out there

woody allen: thank you. as for that little symptom called love, nothing that a little mustard oil heated with garlic will not cure. :)

anonymous: i would have fumed too. would have been nicer if you had said 'theek kaha aapne - auraton ko chote logon ke munh nahin lagna chahiye', and then walked off.

barbarin: sigh! the comment doesn't deserve a response, because of the spirit in which it appears to have been made, but i will be very glad when muslims (poor, dalit muslims especially) start firing imams.

Anonymous said...


No probs at all- with writing on women. Hopefully more in the tone of "economics of motherhood" or "new kind of fruit" than in the one you adopted with "women & the army" but thats Ok too.


Anonymous said...

urr..hmmm, three times a day then? sigh! ...why does it always end with me feeling burnt and smelly :(

Anonymous said...

I really don't know what to say on this news. I myself am a Brahmin and I think that it is upto each individual to decide how they want to get married. If marriage with candles and a man's statue gives happiness to them, so be it. It is a choice that one can make and follow. They can as well as get married in a Registrar's office isn't it?

Anonymous said...


Annie Zaidi said...

balaji: yes, they can. but maybe they don't want to. maybe this is what they want to do.
anirudh: coming up

Anonymous said...

@annie >> Yes I respect that. But it is really bad if an issue or a situation is created by the media/politicians for the sake of a few minutes of airtime or for votes...What unfortunately it does create is a rift amongst people.

jamnalal said...

What problmes do you guys have with poor Brahmin priests..who is asking you to marry in this way or what you please..they will be the last ones to stop you

this columns may help you

I dont like the way people talk about Brahmins, just because they are too lazy to analyze the whole society as it is today. I wish I encountered some of the brahmin-baiters in real life..they will change till eternity

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